SUNRISE, Fla. -- There are plenty of questions facing the Arizona Coyotes organization right now, with the team mired in an ugly battle with the City of Glendale over the current lease. But one thing is clear: The future is very bright for the organization, with a bundle of top prospects on the way to help the struggling team.
That prospect pool was improved further when the Coyotes selected Dylan Strome third overall in the 2015 NHL draft. Like his Erie Otters teammate Connor McDavid, the much-hyped No. 1 pick headed to the Edmonton Oilers, Strome was an absolute stud in the Ontario Hockey league.
The 18-year-old center finished with 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games for the Otters and now headlines a class of youngsters for the Yotes that includes Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. Strome is known as a dynamic playmaker who has size, skill and elite stickhandling abilities. One western conference NHL scout told ESPN.com he projects Strome to be a No. 2 center for Arizona within the next two seasons.
An amateur scout that has watched Strome play extensively added: "High talent, manages the puck, skilled. Makes players around him better."
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett is known for preaching a stingy, structured style of play in the desert, so Strome will have to make some strides defensively to excel at the NHL level, but he could definitely compete for a spot, given the Coyotes’ lack of depth. According to ESPN prospects guru Corey Pronman, Strome’s biggest weakness is his skating, but his hockey smarts help to make up for this shortcoming. Remember that was also the biggest knock on John Tavares when he broke into the league in 2009, and he seems to be doing just fine.